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Denis Buckley (born 9 August 1990) is a rugby union player from Ireland. He predominantly plays as a loosehead prop. Buckley currently plays for Irish provincial team Connacht in the Pro14. He plays his club rugby for Buccaneers.

Denis Buckley
Date of birth (1990-08-09) 9 August 1990 (age 29)
Place of birthCounty Roscommon, Ireland
Height1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight113 kg (17 st 11 lb)[1][2]
SchoolBlackrock College
UniversityNUI Galway
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Current team Connacht
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Creggs rfc ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011– Connacht 160 (35)
Correct as of 9 May 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Ireland U20
Emerging Ireland
Correct as of 25 June 2015

Buckley has represented Ireland internationally at under-age level, and played for the Emerging Ireland side at the 2015 Tbilisi Cup. However, he has yet to represent Ireland at full international level.

Early lifeEdit

Raised in County Roscommon, Buckley first played rugby with local club Creggs RFC, later moving to Athlone-based team Buccaneers. Buckley was a student at Blackrock College.[3] He has also studied at NUI Galway.[4] Buckley joined the Connacht academy in 2009.



Buckley became part of Connacht's academy ahead of the 2009–10 season. In September 2011, while in his third year at the academy, Buckley made his first appearance for the team. He came on as a replacement in a 2011–12 Pro12 match against Benetton Treviso. His first European appearance came against Toulouse in the 2011–12 Heineken Cup on 14 January 2012, also as a replacement. Buckley made his first start on 24 February that year in a Pro 12 match with Edinburgh.[5] In total, his first season saw him make eight Pro 12 appearances and feature in two Heineken Cup games for the province.[6][7]

Buckley became part of Connacht's senior squad the following season and played more regularly for the team, starting seven matches in the 2012–13 Pro12 and making 15 appearances in the competition overall.[6] He also featured in five of the team's six matches in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup, starting in the game away against Zebre, and in both ties with Harlequins.[7] Buckley signed a new contract in November 2012 to keep him with the province until 2015.[8]

Buckley suffered a slow start to the following season, with injuries meaning he did not make his first appearance until 29 November 2013 when he was a replacement against Edinburgh in the 2013–14 Pro12. His next game came in that season's Heineken Cup, where he came on from the bench in a famous victory over four time European champions Toulouse in France.[9] He appeared in four of Connacht's pool games in the Cup, being a replacement on each occasion.[10] In February 2014, Connacht's first choice loosehead prop, Brett Wilkinson, suffered a neck injury against Saracens, which ultimately forced him to retire.[11] This saw Buckley play more frequently for the province, starting all but two of Connacht's remaining matches and featuring as a replacement in the others. Buckley made a total of 14 appearances in the 2013–14 Pro12, six of these coming as a replacement.[6]



Buckley has also been involved with Ireland at under-age international level. He was part of the Irish set up at school's and under-18 level.[3] Although he was part of Allen Clarke's Ireland under-20 squads for both the Under-20 Six Nations and Junior World Cup in 2010,[12][13] he never made an appearance for the side.[14] At senior level, Buckley was selected for the Emerging Ireland squad to participate in the 2015 Tbilisi Cup, again coached by Clarke.[15] He played in two of the team's three games as they won the tournament for the first time.[16]


In May 2018, Buckley was called up for international invitational side the Barbarians, coached by his former Connacht boss Pat Lam.[17] He was named to start against England alongside his Connacht teammates Niyi Adeolokun and Ultan Dillane.[18]


Connacht RugbyEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Denis lines out for Ireland U-18s". Roscommon People. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. ^ Rooney, Declan (27 October 2017). "NUI Galway renew deal with province". Irish Independent. Retrieved 27 October 2017. NUI Galway became Connacht's Academy and University partner in 2013, and since then 19 Connacht players have graduated, or are about to graduate, from NUI Galway including current senior squad members Denis Buckley, Eoin Griffin, Eoin McKeon, Andrew Browne, Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader, Eoghan Masterson, Seán O'Brien and Conor McKeon.
  5. ^ "Buckley handed full Connacht start". RTĖ Sport. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Connacht Squad Index: Denis Buckley". RaboDirectPRO12. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Player Archive: Dennis Buckley". ERC. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Prop Denis Buckley commits his future to Connacht". RTĖ Sport. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Lam basks in glow of Connacht's finest hour". Irish Independent. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Player Archive: Denis Buckley". ERC. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. ^ "'Devastated' Wilkinson forced to retire". Irish Independent. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Ireland U20 Six Nations squad named". Irish Times. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Ireland Under-20 rugby WC squad announced". RTÉ Sport. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Ireland U20 Squad Profiles: Denis Buckley". Irish Rugby. Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  15. ^ Emerging Ireland Squad Named For Tbilisi Cup
  16. ^ "Emerging Ireland claim Tbilisi Cup after win over hosts Georgia". The42. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Injury forces Bundee Aki to miss Barbarians clash with England but Denis Buckley gets a call-up". Irish Independent. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Adeolokun, Dillane and Buckley start for Lam's Barbarians at Twickenham". The42. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  19. ^ "GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team 2014-2015". Pro 12 Rugby. Retrieved 7 June 2016.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit